Letters – Letter to the Editor

Letters – Letter to the Editor

Reader has tip for mystery shoppers: Improve accuracy

Editor, NRN:

I am contacting you regarding the letter from David Lipton, president of Sensors Quality Management Inc. of Toronto, in the Feb. 3 issue, page 21.

I respect Lipton’s opinion about the pay mystery shoppers receive, the benefits of utilizing them and so on. However, I also believe he left out one very important point — the quality of the information obtained by mystery shoppers.

The company that employs me as a server utilizes mystery shoppers to measure the quality of service, food and the overall experience of dining guests. I think it is a very effective tool for sampling the service in an eating establishment. Management always reviews the results, and the information usually is passed down to my level for review, awards and improvement opportunities.

But I do have issues with the quality of information submitted by the mystery shoppers. More often than I care to count, the names of employees depicted on the reports are incorrect as well as the descriptions. They often do not include all information, such as key words, phrases and tiny details. Most of the reports in my particular restaurant are scored very highly. Occasionally, we are paid bonuses for good reports, but those bonuses are contingent on extremely detailed words and phrases used during the visit. When all information is not recorded, is forgotten or is considered unimportant, the report no longer is accurate. In addition to the lack of accuracy of the information, the gratuities left are usually atrocious. If the mystery shopper is pleased, the gratuity should reflect it.

I am not knocking mystery shopping. On the contrary. I simply believe mystery shoppers need to be more accurate and should tip according to the quality 6f the visit. Most shoppers are reimbursed for the entire experience, good or bad, so what’s the problem?

Miguel Olvera


California Pizza Kitchen Dallas

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